There are two distinct categories for realtime infrastructure: realtime API IaaS and realtime app IaaS.  This article will focus on realtime app infrastructure as it relates to services that facilitate the pushing of data to browsers and clients.d

Definition

Realtime app infrastructure sends data to browsers and clients. It typically uses pub/sub messaging, webhooks, and/or websockets — and is separate from an application or service’s main API.

Benefits of Realtime App IaaS

  • Speed – typically explicitly designed to deliver data with low latencies to end-user devices, including smartphones, tablets, browsers, and laptops
  • Multiple SDKs for easier integration
  • Uses globally distributed realtime data delivery platforms
  • Multiple protocol adapters
  • Well-tested in production environments
  • Keeps internal configuration to a minimum

Use Cases

While some of the platforms out there function differently, here are some of the most typical use cases:

  • Realtime Chat – In a microservice environment, a realtime API proxy makes it easy to listen for instant updates from other microservices without the need for a centralized message broker. Each microservice gets its own proxy instance, and microservices communicate with each other via your organization’s own API contracts rather than a vendor-specific mechanism.
  • IoT Device Control – Securely monitor, control, provision and stream data between Internet-connected devices.
  • Geotracking / Mapping Realtime Updates – Integrates with other realtime APIs like (Google Maps) to construct rich realtime updates
  • Multiplayer Game Synchronization – Synchronize communications amongst multiple simultaneous players to keep play fluid

Realtime API Infrastructure Solutions

PubNub

Pusher

Ably